5 Gifts for the Baker

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What? Not done with your holiday shopping? Yeah, neither are we. But we've been making lists -- and checking them twice -- and we've got some suggestions for the nice people on your list. Today, Chow Bella's Gift Guide for the Baker.

When we were kids, my sister and I would thoughtfully write out our Christmas lists each November. My brother, on the other hand, would confiscate the toy guides that came in the Sunday paper, putting together an elaborate cut-and-paste visual Christmas list that put our lists to shame.

Knowing what to buy the baker in your life can be challenging. For your shopping ease, here is my version of my brother's cut-and-paste list, complete with pictures, for the baker in your life.

Tartine Book No. 3 by Chad Robertson, $27.59, Amazon.com: If you have never been to Tartine Bakery in San Francisco, or picked up any of their beautiful cookbooks, you are most definitely missing out.

Master baker Chad Robertson and his pastry chef wife, Elisabeth Prueitt, wrote their first book, Tartine, with a taste of everything they create in their renowned Tartine Bakery. Tartine Bread arrived next, teaching us how to create beautiful loaves from our home ovens. Tartine Book No. 3 promises the use of ancient grains and the reformulation of many favorite Tartine recipes to utilize whole grains, sprouted grains, alternative sweeteners, and nut milks.

Tartine Book No. 3 will be released on December 17, and can be preordered on Amazon.com.

Superstone Covered Baker, $59.95, Chefscatalog.com: Since you are giving the baker in your life a new book on bread baking, you may want to give them the gift of an all-natural stone covered baker. This baker mimics a brick-lined oven, without having to schlep bricks to your backyard and construct an oven.

7-Inch Pie Plate with Cobalt Rim, $60.00, StudioOneStudio.com: As with many good things in my life, I discovered Studio One Studio on Twitter. Lindsay Emery produces all her stunning ceramic line by hand, in small batches.

I am obsessed with Lindsay's gorgeous pieces, and how they make every dish I make look amazing. This pie plate is the latest piece that I'm lusting after.

Hayden Flour Mills Red Fife Bread Flour, $10, HaydenFlourMills.com: Hayden Flour Mills is our local Arizona flour mill that is grinding up beautiful heirloom wheat, to create an exceptional line of flour.

I am looking forward to trying out the Red Fife Bread Flour for my at home bread experiments. Check out their online store or at various local farmers markets, to pick up a couple bags for your baker to experiment with.

Ball Heritage Collection "NEW" Pint Jars, $12.99, FreshPreservingStore.com: Vintage lovers and preservers will flip over the re-release of the blue mason jars. Typically only available searching through flea markets or antique malls, the blue mason jar has made a comeback for its 100th birthday. Get these mason jars before they are once again gone, as these are limited edition release.

Use them for décor or to can your favorite preserves or jam, the perfect accompaniment for any bread testing you may find yourself obligated to consume.

Happy shopping, and eating!

Rachel Miller is a pastry chef and food writer in Phoenix, where she bakes, eats, and single-handedly keeps her local cheese shop in business. You can get more information about her pastry at www.pistolwhippedpastry.com, or on her blog at www.croissantinthecity.com.

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